Important characteristics of the final beatitude…..
• Jesus gives more SPACE to it than to any others. • Jesus PERSONALIZES this beatitude. • It is the only beatitude that includes a COMMAND. • It is the only beatitude with an EXPLANATION. • It is the only beatitude that is REPEATED.
Realities for a follower of Jesus……..
• If you LIVE a Christian life you will endure persecution and hardship. >There is a cost to be paid for FOLLOWING Jesus. >Jesus did not teach a PROSPERITY gospel, but a persecution gospel. • It is possible to suffer persecution for the WRONG reasons. >Some Christians are ridiculed because they: ? -Are RUDE and obnoxious. ? -Are SELF-righteous. ? -Are living in SIN. >Jesus promises to bless are only for those who identify with the Lord and LIVE OUT the principles of the beatitudes.
Reasons to “rejoice” in persecution……
• The fact we are persecuted often shows we are on the RIGHT SIDE! • Our response to persecution DRAWS lost people to Jesus. • We know persecution won’t last long and there is an eternal REWARD that we know awaits us.